Hong Kong: Abundance of riches causes primetime overflow

HONG KONG — With full schedules, the two free-to-air broadcasters here won’t necessarily have a shopping list at Mip.

In fact, the lineup at dominant Television Broadcasts (TVB) is currently so jam-packed that primetime has leaked to include a midnight slot during weekdays.

There are so many shows performing well that when English-lingo TVB Pearl tries to put new programming in traditional primetime slots — such as “Desperate Housewives” — other skeins such as “TheWest Wing” get pushed to midnight, says a TVB spokeswoman.

 Other shows currently airing at that time include “Six Feet Under,” “ER,” “NYPD Blue” and “Kitchen Confidential.”

Asian dramas typically only air one season and Japanese series “Nyokei Kazoku” has just filled the 9:30 p.m. Monday slot. Even though TVB Pearl is the broadcaster’s English-language outlet, a spokeswoman says if they have a good show, they’ll put it in regardless of language.

“We want to give a vision of the world to the viewers,” she says, adding that it isn’t rare for foreign-language programs to air during primetime.

Season five of “24” has just replaced “The Grid” and “Invasion” has begun as well at TVB. At Asia Television (ATV), season five of “CSI” and “CSI: NY” are wrapping. They’ll be replaced by “CSI: Miami” and “Cold Case.”

Other shows that have recently began airing at TVB include “House” and the third season of “The OC.” Also coming soon is the second season of “Desperate Housewives,” while “Human Trafficking” and “Supernatural” will begin in early May. The widely anticipated second season of “Lost” will start June 6.

On the reality front at TVB, “The Apprentice,” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Project Runway” are on the air now. “America’s Next Top Model” begins June 25.

While TVB doesn’t release viewer figures from specific shows, a spokeswoman said “Lost” and “America’s Next Top Model” were big successes in the past season.